A Canadian gaming company handed over $28,000 today for a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich purported to bear the Virgin Mary’s image. The company purchased the sandwich through an eBay auction that made headlines around the world.

And it’s those headlines that likely prompted the company (which I’ll avoid naming) to make the bid. Google News already shows 434 stories about the toastie’s fate. MSNBC, BBC, The Telegraph, and hundreds of other media outlets have broadcast the winning company’s name, which conveniently happens to be a .com. Given the widespread appeal of gambling sites, the company’s owners wisely calculated that $28,000 would be a bargain for worldwide media coverage. (No kidding — a full-page ad in Maclean’s costs $32,000!) Not to be deterred by non-gamblers, the company’s hawking t-shirts and other novelties through an online store.

(c) 2004 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.